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Julian Merryweather called up by Blue Jays, Jacob Waguespack optioned

Merryweather, the return for Josh Donaldson, finally makes his Blue Jays debut

Toronto Blue Jays starting pitcher Julian Merryweather (67) throws a pitch in the first inning during the Toronto Blue Jays workout.
Toronto Blue Jays starting pitcher Julian Merryweather (#67) throws a pitch in the first inning during the Toronto Blue Jays workout.
Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports

I never thought this day would come but the Blue Jays have finally added pitcher Julian Merryweather to the active roster, recalling him from the taxi squad ahead of tonight’s game against the Orioles. To make room for Merryweather, Jacob Waguespack has been optioned to the taxi squad.

Toronto traded fan-favourite Josh Donaldson—the Bringer of Rain—for Merryweather almost two years ago but the trade had been clouded by Merryweather’s injuries that have sidelined him for almost three professional seasons.

Merryweather was added to Cleveland’s 40-man roster in the fall of 2017 after reaching triple-A Columbus and was shut down by spring training. He underwent Tommy John surgery in March 2018, missing all of the 2018 season. He appeared in a couple of rehab games for the Gulf Coast and Dunedin Blue Jays in June 2019 but was shut down again due to elbow fatigue. He made four appearances in a Blue Jays uniform during the Arizona Fall League. He threw three innings during spring training and then made a few appearances on the mound in summer camp where he incurred an oblique surgery that knocked him off of the roster until today.

Merryweather, at age 28, will be making his major league debut when he is called into pitch so he is no longer a “prospect” but if he can stay healthy and can harness his upper-90s fastball. As he is likely going to be used exclusively as a reliever in the major leagues, he can focus on complementing that with his changeup even though he has worked on a slider and curveball in his days as a minor league starter.

2020 Toronto Blue Jays Roster Route Tree Map, version 10 Minor Leaguer